HERRIMAN, Utah — A friendly deer is creating a lot of buzz online in a Herriman community.
“He liked hanging out with the kids, he was playing on the hill with them,” said Angelica Lujan.
The deer, named "Cooper" by local residents, is getting to know many of the neighbors. Locals have been posing for pictures and enjoying the rare experience of getting to play with a wild animal.
One resident, Angelica Lujan, was amazed by the deer’s demeanor.
“When he first started coming around, some of the neighbors had talked about not being too friendly with him so he doesn’t get used to us, but it’s a little bit past that,” said Lujan.
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Utah’s Division of Wildlife Resources said despite the deer's gentle and friendly attitude, the best thing to do for Cooper is to leave him alone.
"People don’t realize these beautiful, cute deer can be aggressive as they get older. We’ve had times in the past where these friendly deer, they do get aggressive," said Scott Root, Conservation Outreach Manager, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. "We’ve had kids hurt at bus stops. Bad things happen when we feed deer in a residential area."
They say if he becomes too regular in the neighborhood, they may have to euthanize Cooper because at this point, relocating him is not an option.
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“We choose not to relocate because of disease considerations. If this deer stays in the community, it could get hit by a car,” said Root.
Copper has been making an appearance now for several weeks. Some neighbors say he’s an orphan, and his mom was hit by a car.
“We hoping people don’t befriend it and it goes up in the foothills but if people do see it, leave it alone. Everyone loves that picture for Facebook or Instagram but you’re really doing that animal a disservice and maybe giving it a death sentence if it becomes too domesticated,” said Root.
In the past, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources has resorted to feeding deer on special occasions, but that is a last resort they try to avoid as much as possible.